Microsoft Corp., the world's largest software maker, will introduce video games for its Zune music player within 18 months to match features available on Apple Computer Inc.'s dominant iPod.
Peter Moore, a vice president in the company's Xbox video- game business, confirmed the plan yesterday, saying the Zune's large screen will offer a better way to play handheld games. He didn't specify what games would be offered. "I love the interface, I love the screen,'' Moore said at a dinner with reporters during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Zune, introduced in November, has failed to take market share from Apple's iPod, partly because the device lacks iPod features such as games and TV programs, said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at JupiterResearch. Exclusive Zune features, including a wireless connection to other Zune devices, don't work very well, he said.
``It's not like the music enthusiasts have been flocking to Zune, and they need to really answer Apple in terms of feature parity,'' said Gartenberg, who is based in New York. ``But they will also have to find ways to differentiate. If all they do is hit parity with iPod, they don't win.''